You'd hope Michael Sam's coming out wouldn't negatively affect his future in the NFL. This Sports Illustrated story again reminded people that hope and reality are often far apart.
Anonymous NFL personnel were interviewed for their opinions about how would Sam's story affect his draft stock and NFL career. Their answers again exposed the NFL as a morally flawed league. None of them condemned Sam's decision, but they did note he now has a few more hurdles to get over.
"I don't think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet," one said in 2014. "In the coming decade or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It'd chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room."
"Chemically imbalance?" The professionals' predictions don't get much better from here. One scout predicted Sam's draft stock will go down because, "Do you want to be the team to quote-unquote 'break that barrier?'" Another even criticized Sam's achievements during his season at Missouri, noting that even though he won SEC's Defensive Player of the Year, his numbers came against "garbage competition."
What's even more stunning is this: Most of the NFL teams had already known about Sam's sexual orientation (it was considered an open secret) and many had dropped him on their draft boards. So Sam's decision to come out, according to one assistant coach, was "not a smart move." So basically he'd have to live in secrecy to be accepted in America's Game.
[via Sports Illustrated]